Saturday, December 29, 2012

Still good to know I have more to learn about him...

You are driving down the highway, peacefully anticipating the outing ahead.  When suddenly:


Those two simple sounds...yet, when uttered in that tone, suddenly you are filled with dread.

"What?"  You ask, hoping for yet fearing the answer.

He sits in silence, overwhelmed by the shock and terror of his thoughts.  Your mind races.  What could this possibly be?  Is it your imagination, or does his face seem to grow more pensive, more petrified, more horrified...He's mentioned some stress at work, a possible health problem...could there be more he's been too afraid to share?

You try to await his answer, but it is so long in coming.  "What?!?"  You ask again, imploring his answer.

Yet he sits silent, driving the car, alone with his trepidation...

"Mommy?"  A voice calls from the back seat.  "Why does this book have a funny mark here?"

It's the back seat?  How can you possibly see in the back seat?  More importantly, what does this have to do with the situation developing in the front seat?  "Honey, I don't know.  Let's check it out when we get there."

"Crap."  It's the first syllable he's uttered since beginning this stressful odyssey.  Perhaps he's finally ready share?  Does he seem slightly less catatonic?  

"But it's just right there, Mommy.  Haven't you read this book before?"

Yes, and I've memorized every mark on every page throughout.  Wait until you see the one on page's a doozy!  "No, honey."  You reply, frayed nerves jangling, "I mean, yes, I've read the book, but I don't know-"

"Mama!  Mama!"  Another child interjects, "Look!  What was that?"  She gestures to the entire world whizzing past her window, confident you know EXACTLY to which "that" she refers.  You want to respond, but your husband sighs, rubs his lip, and looks distraught, shifting slightly in his seat.

"I DON'T KNOW," you shriek hysterically.  "CAN'T YOU SEE I'M TRYING TO TALK TO YOUR FATHER?!?"

Silent, chastened, your children retreat to their seats.  Anxiously you return to your husband.  "WHAT?!?  WHAT?!?  WHY DID YOU SAY UH-OH?!?"

"Huh?"  He says absently, turning to look at you.  "What do you mean?"

Now he's giving you that slightly alarmed "Is-she-losing-it" look.  Taking a deep breath, and fighting for calm, you say, "Earlier you said, '' with great concern.  What is going on?!???"

"Oh," he says, "That.  Nothing.  Just thinking about whether or not I put my new pants in the laundry.  I think I forgot to do that."

You blank...what the?  Seriously?!?  "Oh, well, the way you said, '" I thought..."

"Oh, that's not my serious tone," he replies.  "Don't'll know when it's serious."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas one and all!  Just a quick blog today.  I got a netbook for Christmas!  Hooray!!  I also got an Ipod touch - I'm a lucky woman.  My favorite gift, I must admit, though, is the plush red angry bird that shrieks in victory when you push the button.  WHOOHOO-HOO!  I am a lucky woman.

This was a big Christmas for the girls.  If you asked the kids what they wanted from Santa, they would reply as follows:

A: I want marshmallows, candy canes, cookies, and a piano.
B: I want marshmallows, candy canes, cookies, and a xylophone
C: I want more furniture for my doll house, Barbie Dolls, Angry Birds for my DSi...and a guitar.
A: Oh, and a drum
B: Yeah, a drum

See a pattern?  It's a musical Christmas this year!  The problem with kid's musical instruments is that they are rarely in tune/tunable.  I don't have perfect pitch by any means, but I'm pretty good at knowing what is in tune (and vice versa).  It can be physically painful to hear that sour note(s).  On the other hand, the problem with real musical instruments is size, cost, maintenance and care...

Well, that solves that one.

So Christmas day dawns, and Santa proves that (s)he is, once again, the (wo)man.  As per tradition, it starts with Santa leaving a path of candy canes down the hall and to the family room, where the unwrapped Santa toys await.  The girls get into the doorway of the family room, and Twin A stops dead in her tracks.  There it sits.  A shiny black child's piano, complete with stool and music stand.  The other girls come barreling in, but she's stock-still in shock.  It lasts all of 30 seconds, but definitely long enough to let us know that Santa did a good job.  Finally she says, "A piano...look...a piano..."  It seems like underwhelm, but the complete withdraw lets us know the exact opposite.  She can barely take it in.  The crowning glory is the small bag of marshmallows and cookies on top...with a candy cane peeking out...

Twin B, meanwhile, zeros right in on that xylophone.  It's just one of those little kid ones, but she's in heaven...for about 15 seconds, and then she zooms over to the dollhouse.  The dollhouse was not an anticipated gift.  Our chiropractor's daughter was giving it away, and he offered it to us for free, because he's that kind of wonderful, sweet, generous person.  It came complete with some pre-mussed Barbie dolls and a few pieces of furniture.  It has a small chip on the top, but the girls haven't even seen that yet.  And check out that couch!  Perfect place to stash a bag of marshmallows, cookies, and...

C has the smallest of the piles.  She actually went straight past it to the dollhouse.  When she found out it wasn't for her, she was disappointed.  She has one at Gama's house,  though, and she was assured her sisters would give her a chance to check it out.  She turns dejectedly to her pile...and shrieks with joy over the mini-guitar sitting on her pile.  WHOOHOO!  Then she takes a good look, and realizes it's a Barbie and Dollhouse furniture kind of Christmas!  Life is good!  A minivan for the dollhouse AND a car for Barbie?  WHOA!

It took almost two hours for the girls to see anything outside of the piano, xylophone, guitar, and percussive instruments (the guitar was part of a set that came with a bongo drum, tambourine, wood block/zither, egg-shaped maracas, and finger cymbals).  It was guess...Christmas?  They are banging away, shouting, "I'm playing MUSIC!"  All I could think is, "If you become punk musicians I may have to disown you..."  The DVDs, Pigeon Books, dress up clothes, etc. are NOTHING compared to these wonderful gifts.  The piano and guitar especially.  Mommy knitted cool sparkly ruffle scarves.  Whatever!  Do they sing?  Make music?  Drive mommy incredibly insane?  Then what good is some dumb fashionable scarf?

It has been proven that men are far better than women at selective hearing and ignoring certain sound ranges...I am desperate to learn this trick...but very happy at how happy the girls are with their gifts.  Now to figure out where the heck to put all of this stuff!  We need a new house just for the toys!!

Daddy?  Oh, he got a blue-ray player, windows 8, gift cards, boxers...and I framed some of his old photos.  He's hard at work putting together Barbie sets and cussing at small plastic tabs that refuse to slide into slot A...

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

All hail Synovia!

So some of you may be aware that one of my 3 yo twins was diagnosed with a mild case of Toxic Synovitis.  It's not that serious, especially if we convince her to sit and rest (HAHAHAHAHAHA!).  It's located in her left knee, so she can't walk on it.  We give her Motrin and let her watch all the TV she wants, which means she would rather do ANYTHING that watch TV (or color or read or sing songs or play board games...)  As I've typed this paragraph (and I type pretty fast) she's already tried to walk four times.

We were just diagnosed yesterday afternoon, and already we are a bit stir crazy and challenged.  This is our favorite time of year!  We want to be outside, picking apples, going to Halloween parties, playing and enjoying activities (note the word active there).  It's really hard for Twin B because as of right now she has no symptoms, and she might not get sick, but I need to keep her on the calm side so her twin isn't encouraged to run around.  So I thought, "Hey, let's take the stroller and go to the shopping center to run some errands!"  Perfect, right?  They are contained but getting to see something other than our four walls, and maybe I can have minor human interactions.  Whoohoo!

....Seriously?  What was I thinking?...

The problem wasn't the girls.  I mean, they didn't like being contained, but they were fairly willing to go along if it meant they were out of the house.  No, it was explaining WHY my girls were in a stroller.  See, we picked the day to go to the shopping center that was having a Halloween festival.  And somehow, despite my best efforts, I ended up having to constantly explain WHY they were in a stroller.

"She has WHAT?"  Toxic Synovitis
"What is that?"  It's a virus that travels to a joint.  In this case it's her knee.  
"A virus?  In her knee?  Seriously?  I didn't know that could happen!"  Hmmm...join the club
 "Does it sneeze?  Do you have to blow it?"  Oh ha ha!  That was funny the first 15 times I heard it...want to ask me if they are twins?  
"She can't walk?  Why can she move the knee?"  Apparently it depends on where it attacks the joint as to how much it affects a person.  In her case she can't bear weight on her lower leg or foot, but crawling or this weird butt scoot she's got going on (that is going to destroy all her pants) doesn't affect her.  
"Let's see her try to walk."  Oh, sure, because I'm sure you've got far more experience diagnosing and treating T.S. than the doctor who sees several cases a year...

And my personal favorite: "Was it named after her?"

Really?  You think this condition is named after my kid?  I mean, not that it's not possible.  But let's be real - people look at me and think, "¿Que Paso?"  They look at my kid, and think she's named after something that sounds like a minor Mid-European principality halfway between Bavaria and the French Riviera?  Why yes, this is my daughter Synovia.  And her twin Genovia.  They are famous for pears...

And there was the last hurdle I encountered that made me want to crack some skulls: Candy.  I have to tell you, if you have to catch T.S., avoid doing so on Halloween...or Christmas, Valentines day, Easter...see a pattern?  In addition to rest and Motrin, the other part of the protocol is to avoid dairy and...*ding ding ding!*  SUGAR!!

"Aww, poor girl.  Does she want some candy?"  That's so sweet of you, but she really needs to avoid sugar right now.
"But it's HALLOWEEN!"  What the...are you serious?  Like in a couple of days?  Like with costumes and everything?  Is THAT why there's candy for sale everywhere?  OOOOH!  That explains all the orange and black, doesn't it?!?!?

No s*%$, people, but trust me...if I take care of her, she'll be around for many MORE Halloweens.  And as much as I hate to do it, no kid dies from a dietary reduction of refined white sugar.  In fact, it may ultimately behoove her diet to do so.  Hmmm, might help yours, too...

So we're going to spend the rest of the day and tomorrow at the house.  If she continues to have problems walking by Monday I take her to the doctor.  Hopefully her twin doesn't manifest signs of the illness in the next 24 hours.  Provided I can keep her from walking the virus shouldn't spread and we should get better.

Twin A specializes in taking her illnesses to the next level, doesn't she?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mother Goose gets an update

Once there was a young woman who lived in a binder
(She was in the 47% so Romney couldn't find her)
As a teacher she struggled to align with common core
She revised her lessons 'til exhausted and sore
Regarding politicians, she had nary a doubt!
"To fix this whole mess, throw them all out!"
The moral of the story, to make matters worse,
When you give Congress the chance, they'll vote themselves the purse!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

World's Meanest Mom...again...

Cruel mother that I am, I required that the twins sit on the potty before we left to pick up big sister from the bus.  I figured they could sit for 15 minutes and...who knows?  Twin B is starting to show success, although Twin A is hit-or-miss.  I suggested that to pass the time they could sing together.  Twin B was quite amenable to the entire situation, but Twin A wasn't having it.  She'll be DAMNED if she does ANYTHING without a fight.  I mean ANYTHING.  We are so incredibly, painfully, awfully 3...

Twin B gets to work immediately and begins to sing the Alphabet song.  Twin A?  She stomps her feet.  She protests, moaning and grunting about the injustice of it all.  She goes boneless.  I offer her the choice of sitting on her potty or a spanking.  She relents slightly, going to her potty, although she lets me know in NO uncertain terms that the Geneva Convention would NOT consider this appropriate...

Twin B is now singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider."  Twin A is bending over to examine the floor as though it is suddenly of incredibly interest.  I tell Twin A to sit up and sing.  She sits up slightly, whines, and flops over on her side.  Again, I tell her to sit up and sing.  Frankly, I don't care if she sings.  However, when their minds are on something other than urinating I find they actually complete the deed.  I also find a higher success rate when they are sitting well as a lower potential for needing to clean the floor and surrounding areas...

Twin A isn't having it.  She is enduring this torture, but she's not about to go without a fight.  I'm really losing my temper.  All three of my kids are in this phase where nothing can go unchallenged.  Apparently they don't agree with Socrates - re-examination of your life every 7 years (or 5, or whatever) just isn't soon enough.  It should be every 3 months! I am doing my best to be patient, but we're in what my mom calls the "Chopped-Liver" phase.  Every day all I hear is, "Where's Daddy? (or Gama or Gapa or Uncle Tim or Aunt Glynda or ANYONE BUT YOU, MOM!!!)"  Logically, I get it.  Emotionally, I've had it.  Just once it would be nice to be appreciated.  And big sister is HARD CORE into this helpless, ditzy phase.  "Oh?  We keep it there?  In the same place it has been since I was born?  And I just used it 20 minutes ago?  But how was I supposed to know where it is?  And can you get it for me?  'Cause I'm just SO HELPLESS..."  *bat bat*

OK, so enough of a pity party.  Twin B has moved on to "Swinging on a Star."  I am folding clothing as this is going on, and I've decided that Twin A WILL SING EVEN IF IT KILLS HER!!!  So I reach out with the t-shirt in my hand and wave it at her head, intending to brush her pony tail, and say, "START SINGING RIGHT NOW!!"  Only...I miss.  I brush her ear.  And perhaps "brush" is a bit kind of a term.  "Swack" might have a slightly truer ring.  Don't call DFACS!  It was an accident.  They'll take her away...oh...wait...

Twin A is SHOCKED!  She grabs her ear and sits up straight, sucking in air.  She wails for a second.  And then she starts belting out "Swinging on a Star" as though there is no tomorrow.  I mean, SCREAMING this song.  "A PIG IS AN ANIMAL WITH DIRT ON HIS FACE...*deeeeeeeeep breath*....HIS SHOES ARE A TERRIBLE DISGRACE!"  She yells it so loudly that Twin B falls off her potty in shock.  I can't help it.  I bury my face in the t-shirt and laugh so hard I'm crying.  Where is my video recorder when I need it?!?  Twin B gingerly returns to her potty and resumes singing, although at a much softer level than her sister...who is trying to be heard in New York, apparently.

Oh I am so MEAN!  ;-)

FYI:  Yes, they both peed in their potties before time was up.  Wouldn't you?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm a WHAT?!?

Today's conversation with the twins: 
B: Mommy is a cow!
Mom: WHAT? Excuse me!
A: A cow! Mommy is a cow! And Gama! Gama is a cow, too.
B: And Gapa is a donkey!
A: Uncle Tim is a pig! 
B: Daddy is a...a...a CHICKEN!!!
(Hysterical laughter)
Mom: What are A & B? 
B: We just kids...but big sister is a dog!!!

I swear...the only people who could call me a cow and still be walking...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Reason #72 we love Gama

Once a week my mother, the twin, and I go to a chiropractor.  This guy awesome - he has been treating my mom and I for years, and he has treated the twins since they were 6 months (C since 18 months).  Afterwards, we typically either go out for lunch or go to Gama's house.  Today we went to BK, because nothing says "fine cuisine" like a plastic indoor playground.  

Three is one of those ages that leaves you laughing in hysterics one minute and shrieking with anger the next.  The twins are ALL over the map.  And of course, we're working on important skills, like sharing, anger management, arguing with Mommy is extraordinarily bad for your health, and potty training (yes, we're behind - make a snide comment, and guess who's gonna come to my house and take over their training?).  

So after lunch the girls are up in their gerbil tubes, and mom whispers to me, "I feel like a little something sweet.  Want to share some ice cream?"  Well, heck, there isn't much you could smother in hot fudge that I would refuse...ok, well, that sort of came out wrong, but...I mean...

Moving on.

She quietly leaves the room and goes in line.  About 20 second later, two little voices pipe up, "Where is Gama?  Is Gama in line?  Is she getting ice cream.  She's getting ice cream, isn't she?  She's getting US ice cream."  Now, yes, probably some sharing would go on between the four of us, but at the same time...two sugar-crazed preschoolers?  Yikes!  So I say, "Yes, she is."  (What, like I'm gonna deny it and they're gonna believe it?  They are their mother's children.  More like their Gapa's kids.  They can SMELL fudge and ice cream from two miles away).  "BUT," I continue, "It's for GAMA, not for you."

There is silence, and then you can almost FEEL the craftiness pervade the area.  Gama deny her two darling little granddaughters?  Oh please.  In their world, that isn't even a possibility.  But somehow Mommy has to be convinced.  I hear scrabbling as they crawl down the slide.  They shoot each other that "you can read my mind 'cause you're my twin" look, and then Twin A sidles up to me.  Laying her head on my arm adoringly, she says, "But Gama LOVES to share with us.  And sharing is 'portant, right, Mommy?"

Hoist on my own petard...

If you give a...

If you give a kid a magnifying glass, you'll have to explain that this is glass, and we take very good care of glass objects.
If you finish your explanation to the child hopping from foot to foot, chances are she'll want to go outside.
If she goes outside, she'll need to put on sandals.
If she puts on sandals, she'll realize that she's outgrown them in the past week.
If she's outgrown them, she'll need to launch a housewide search for the ONLY pair of sandals she's sure still fit.
If she finds those shoes, she'll want to go outside.
If she goes outside, she'll want her magnifying glass.
If she starts looking around, she'll probably check out the hummingbird feeder.
If she checks out the hummingbird feeder, she'll probably notice the praying mantis sitting on there.
If she notices the praying mantis, her mother will probably remind her of the character in "Bug's Life" named Manny.
If her mother reminds her of the movie she JUST SAW THE OTHER DAY, chances are the child won't remember it.
If she stares blankly at her mothers and huffs, she'll probably wake the mantis up.
If it wakes up, it will probably resume eating the other half of the bee clutched in it's pincer.
If it eats the bee, she'll probably get grossed out.
If she gets grossed out, she won't be able to look away, 'cause it's that kind of grossed-out that is really cool, too, and you know you can't look away from that...I mean, it's kind of like when you know you shouldn't look at a wreck on the side of the road, but you do anyways, 'cause who knows what kind of - sorry...
If she looks at it long enough, she'll probably make so many, "Eeeww...yuck!" noises 'til her parents tell her to look at something else and STOP COMPLAINING!
If she stops complaining, her parents will know she's dead, so that's never gonna happen...
If she continues complaining, she'll probably be sent inside for dinner.
If she goes inside, she'll probably use the magnifying glass to whack one of her sisters.
And if she uses it to whack one of her sisters, chances are you'll have to explain that it is glass, and we take very good care of glass objects...
And chances are, she won't be listening, because she'll be hopping from foot to foot again...
And reminding her mother about the movie "Bug's Life" that they saw the other day that had a mantis in it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Albuterol = Epiphanies!

Albuterol really amps up the twins! Their new favorite activity right after taking it is to run laps around the island in the kitchen, reciting their favorite scenes from Curious George or having conversations. Usually Twin B is the narrator & human, and Twin A is Hundley (the dog) or George (a monkey).  Should it worry me that she's so good at imitating animals?  I choose to believe that they retain this information due to their astounding memories, and NOT due to the fact that they get 30 minutes of TV a day...

Sometimes, as they are trotting in circles, they prefer to have conversations.  Here is one such example:  
Twin A: "God loves me." 
Twin B: "God loves me, too."
A: "NO!! God loves ME, not you!"
B: "God loves ME!! ME!! ME!!"
A:...."God loves me AND you???"
B: "Yes!"
A: "God loves us...but he doesn't make us breakfast." 
B (sadly): "Yeah..." (Brightens up) "Mommy loves us!"

Beware of threes...especially in twos...

We had such a crazy week!  It was the kind of week that makes you wonder what you did in a past life to get that kind of Karma!  It started on the weekend when we stifled without A/C.  After some checking, we realized our thermostat needed to be replaced.  Easily enough accomplished, and we're back to cool air and smooth sailing...until Monday, when our A/C cut out AGAIN.  Of course the A/C people were due to come out WEDNESDAY, but we couldn't wait that long.  Fortunately it was a switch, and we're off and running!

Tuesday I'm sitting in the house debating my dinner options when I hear this strange static-like noise.  I walk into the kitchen, trying to figure out what's wrong with the baby monitor, when I hear the noise plus a soft pop.  Turning my attention to the refrigerator, I see...smoke?  What an awful smell?  Seriously?  Is that smoke?  My eyes water as I watch the smoke billow out from the fridge, and I panic.  That type of panic that seizes your guts and roots you to the floor.  Fire?  Am I about to lose my house?  Can I get my kids out fast enough?  Do I need to call the fire department?  WHERE IS MY HUSBAND?!?!?!?  This clearly does NOT fall under the realm of "mom stuff."  Fire is "Dad stuff!"  

This lasted all of 3 seconds, and then I hear a voice in my head yell, "Turn off the breaker!  MOVE!!"  I yank open that breaker box and flip EVERY switch that looks like it could have anything to do with the kitchen. general...oven...does that say kitchen?  Don't know...flipping it anyway.  I go back inside to find that I'm lucky enough to have forestalled a fire!  WHOOHOO!  So I call my husband and shriek into the phone, "WHERE ARE YOU?!?  I JUSTFLIPPEDTHEBREAKERSAND(sniffle sob shudder)YEAAAHMMWNOWPHOIHLJBKEWR..."  Fortunately he's smart enough to realize that this translates into, "Get home now, she's lost all sense of coherency."  

A new fridge later, it's Wednesday, and it's time for fridge delivery...or it would be, if the Lowe's employee who sold us the fridge (which we specifically bought because it was IN STOCK) knew how to put an order in the system...We call the store, but the associate says, "I can't help you, call the delivery company," then hangs up before we can respond.  We find our paperwork and call the delivery company, who says, "We don't have a record of this delivery.  We're really sorry.  Here's the manager's name and direct line, call him and see if he can help.  We'll check on our end."  We call the manager and are told, "It was mistakenly entered as a special delivery and will be in next week."  Next week?  I don't think I can pack my fridge full of ice for over a week and hope I'll be able to keep ANYTHING cold...So the manager wearily informs us that as soon as he hangs up he will make sure the order is changed so it can be delivered THURSDAY, and there's just nothing else he can do to help us.  Yeah, wouldn't want to offer a coupon, a minor discount, a small gift card...We get a call two hours later saying delivery will be Thursday, but the guy who calls us is livid because when he got the new list for Thursday, we weren't on it.  He had to call Lowe's and chew out the manager who screwed up our order AGAIN.  Thanks to the delivery company we got a fridge on Thursday.  Thanks to Lowe's we won't be shopping there again for a new appliance!

Wednesday night comes, and I can rest easily...or not, as Twin A decides it's time to come down with one whale of a chest cold!  We spend the night in the family room, and it takes three rounds of albuterol for her to finally breath well enough for her to be able to sleep.  So Thursday it's off to the pediatrician for orapred, albuterol, and antibiotics for both girls.  Twin B, it turns out, was keeping her double ear infections a secret...We get home...Oww, my sinuses...You always want your children to share...just not their germs...Sleep is elusive when you are blowing your nose every 2 minutes...

Friday, and FINALLY we're going to have a bit of a break.  DH heads out of town to attend the Nascar race at Bristol with his family, and it's girls night!  We enjoy our pasta and movie, and everyone heads to bed...what the HECK is that wail?  I head into C's room...and light out of there for the kitchen like I'm being chased by wolves.  I grab a pan and break landspeed records running into C's room, just in time to get that pot under her...and it's a stomach virus!  JACKPOT!  Back to the family room for another all-nighter!  My third in a row.  See the power of three at work here?  It's like the TV show Charmed, but without the strange fashions and "magic."  

On Saturday I was supposed to attend an all day training class that I'd been REALLY looking forward to for weeks.  Nope...I'm in the family room watching various cartoons all day, dealing with three sick little girls, and wishing my head had a flip top so I could remove my sinuses.  Wouldn't it be great if you could get disposable sinuses?  When they get sick you just pop open your head, toss the infected ones, and put in a fresh, clean pair.  Let's get on that evolution thing there, God, 'K?

After I posted on FB about my fridge a friend of mine innocently reminded me of the rule of 3 - you know, bad things happening in 3s.  Personally I think we're covered for a couple of years, because we've had all the bad things we ONE week!  I'm declaring a moratorium on bad things around here!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

If it's good for the goose...

We are all sick of the CFA thing with Dan Cathey, right?  You are probably thinking, "Seriously?  NOW she wants to talk about it?  I'm done reading..."  Well bear with me.  This isn't about his comments.  It's about something SURROUNDING his comments.

Dan Cathey made the decision to comment about gay marriage.  YES, it was his right.  NO, I'm not arguing it.  Other people reacted and made comments about his comments.  YES, it was THEIR right.  NO, I'm not arguing about them, either.  And what was the big backlash?  "You must be TOLERANT.  You must ALLOW this person to have his opinion.  You are un-American if you don't!  Freedom of Speech!  First Amendment!!"  Some people even went so far as to say you couldn't react to his words or choose not to eat at CFA.  Not many - most people were willing to agree that if you didn't like his words it was your right, provided you accepted his right to say the comment.

Here's the thing:  Yes, we have freedom of speech and the right to say what we think.  That's what makes this country great.  I love it.  But we forget rights come with responsibilities.  Say what you think, but accept the consequences of your actions.  People seem shocked that words and actions have consequences (that's a rant for another day...).  Some are foreseeable.  Some are shocking.  Some are fair, others not.

Now, why am I bringing this up?  Well, in the past few days I've noticed something about the so-called "Tolerance" people.  On several occasions I've seen these same people attacking others viciously for their opinions.  Saying, "How dare she say that to ME?!?"  Or, "Why is that person being so mean to ME?," simply because another person on email or on facebook disagreed with them.

People, a disagreement is NOT a lack of tolerance.  If I say, "Here's my opinion," and someone says, "I disagree," that's life.  That's the essence of freedom of speech.  If the person goes on to say, "You stupid moron, you must agree with me," that's not freedom of speech.  That's hurtful and rude.  But if someone doesn't agree with your opinion, they are NOT being intolerant.  They are simply exercising the right which so many people shrieked we must give Dan Cathey.

So why is that when a public figure makes a statement that could be controversial, we're not being tolerant if we disagree?  However, if someone in our life says, "I think otherwise," we start facebook campaigns against this person and attack him/her?  One of my friends said, "Let's return to civilized discourse," and I agree.  But not just in the political/religious arena.  PERIOD. If you have a deeply held belief, and someone disagrees, recognize that they are practicing their 1st Amendment rights, just as you are.  Note: I'm talking about civil disagreement.  Not rude, nasty, ugliness in disagreeing.

Does that mean there's no room for debate?  Of course not!  Civil response and debate are a cornerstone of our society.  Does it mean there aren't times to campaign against someone's words?  Of course not!  Some things people say are just plain ignorant, unfair, rude, and may even infringe on the rights of others.  Does it mean you can't complain to your friends or ask for support?  Isn't that what friends are for?  I'm just saying that you might want to consider what is truly worth your time.  You may be surprised once you take a deep breath how trivial some matters become.  And most importantly, you may want to ask yourself, "Is this person really deserving of my wrath, or should is this a situation in which freedom of speech dictates that I have to give him/her a say, even if I disagree?"  Who knows - you may learn something in your search of the internet to prove him/her wrong!  I know I have on many occasions!

So now my logical side has had it's say!  My emotional side is snickering...and wondering how well I'll remember this when someone really pisses me off...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

St. Anthony's great, but my hubby's my hero!

So I went to Publix today after getting my hair cut.  I'm on my own, feeling pretty good, enjoying the freedom of doing an errand without three girls in tow.  I browse the sales, getting some good deals, and in general feeling pretty great.  Then I get to the line...and realize I don't have my wallet.  Sometimes I take my wallet out of my purse and stick it in my back pocket, then forget to remove it when I get home.  So it's very likely my wallet is in a pair of shorts in my house.  I have a credit card I keep separately for emergencies (or this occasion), so thankfully I don't have to put back all of my excellent deals.

I get home and start looking around the house for my wallet.  My mom and eldest are helping me...I should say my mom is helping, and my eldest flits around the house, asking every 10 seconds, "Did you find it yet? Do you see how I'm helping you?"  My mom, in an effort to give us the chance to search, tells C that if she REALLY wants to help she should pray to St. Anthony.  The prayer goes like this, "St. Anthony, St. Anthony, Please come 'round.  Something is lost that must be found."  St. Anthony's usually pretty good about helping us around here.

10 minutes later I'm now frantically ripping things apart in an effort to find this wallet.  This is my debit card, my license, my insurance card...basically my financial life.  I'm no longer praying, I'm attempting to strong-arm St. Anthony.  "Look buddy, you'd better come 'round, 'cause seriously, this isn't something to play with. This is my family's future, and one day we want to buy another house...Dude, get your butt over here..."  I'm struggling to maintain a calm composure.

As near as I can remember, the last time I had my wallet was Monday night when we went to Walmart.  So I decide I'm going to call and PRAY someone kind turned in my wallet.  In the back of my mind this little voice is niggling at my brain, whispering, "Call your husband."  Seriously?  What's he going to know about where it is?  It's my wallet - he has his own to keep track of!  What am I thinking?  So I dial Walmart.

"Hello?"  A male voice answers.
I'm a bit thrown.  No identification?  "Thanks for calling Walmart" is too hard to say?  Uhh..."Hi, I'd like to talk to someone about a lost wallet?"
...."I don't think I know anything about that."  DOH!  I called my DH.
"Sorry sweetie, I thought I called Walmart.  Uh...I think I lost my wallet."
Now I witch about my DH at times - let's face it, those closest to us can totally drive us NUTS!  But let me tell you, one of the reasons I love him is he can be so low-key and calm in very strenuous situations.  So he says: "OK, well, where did you have it last?"
Now I'm getting very upset.  "Uh...I think I paid at Walmart on-"
"No, I paid at Walmart.  You took C to the bathroom, remember?"
The OH SH!T moment has arrived.  Oh my...oh crap...the last time I had it was..."Oh no, I think the last time I used it was last Wednesday when I was out to dinner!"  Now I cry.  That's more brave face.  I've totally ruined our finances, our lives...I've got to call ALL of those will be weeks until we can use our cards again...
Meanwhile, my DH is calmly studying this situation.  "You were alone on Sunday.  Did you by chance eat out after your class?"
I teach an ESL class for adults on Sundays at my Church.  "No, I came straight home because I wanted to---"  LIGHT BULB!!!!!!!  "OH MY GOD - YOU ARE A GENIUS!" I shout!  Being Anal-Retentive (please note capitalization and hyphenation), I have a separate bag for each class or group I attend.  I hate to carry the bag AND my purse, so I move my wallet to the bag.  I yank my ESL bag out of my coat closet, strewing mittens, scarves, and bits all around my foyer.  Front left pocket...empty.  Front right pocket...there's a suspicious bulge..."YES!!  I LOVE YOU!!!"  Now I'm a crying, snotty mess.  But I have my wallet!!  WHOOHOO!!

A chuckle, and my DH says, "Well, that's why you call the helpdesk, right?  For help."

OK, OK, and my thanks to St. Anthony, for trying to show me the way.  And not snickering too loudly at me...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Coti-yoti" and the Nose Trouble

Lately the girls and I have become big fans of the author Gerald McDermott.  When I was a kid I was totally captivated by the drawings and colors of Arrow to the Sun.  It starts out using desert tones, but as the story progresses suddenly bright vivid blues, pinks, greens, etc. enter into the picture.  I really wanted my girls to have this book, so I special-ordered this Caldecott Medal winner from B&N.  We truly enjoy it, but we've read it so many times I went looking for other options.

We have been going once a week to the Cumming Library this summer, and I'm not sure who finds it a bigger treat: me or the girls.  Their eyes and jaws hit the floor the first time they saw the library and were told they could have any book on loan FOR FREE!  I thought C was going to faint.  She devours books like they were cakes....not cakes...I mean, you shouldn't get the idea -'s not that she eats so many...I...uh...moving on...

For the twins and I, our treasured discovery was the books of Gerald McDermott.  We enjoyed Raven, but most recently we found Coyote, or as my girls call him, "Coti-yoti."  "Coti-yoti" is the story of how the coyote got his coloration.  You see, "Coti-yoti" has a nose for trouble...and he finds it.  He attempts to join a band of crows in singing and dancing.  The crows at first tease him, giving him feathers, but once he becomes rude and boastful...well...hey!  What am I telling you for?  Go read the book!

Another first for us this summer has been gymnastic classes.  We had our first one last week on Tuesday.  This was the twins first class in which they were required to follow directions and listen.  They...uh...sucked at it.  I mean, I'm sorry - they are my own flesh and blood, and I love them dearly, but trust me, it ain't roses that come out of that end.  The teachers were WONDERFUL, but kids really screwed up their class.  I apologized and was told it was no big deal, but I'm pretty sure that was the longest 30 minutes of their lives.

So I mention this because we are really focusing on taking turns, waiting in line, and sitting still to listen to instruction.  And it's going about as well as you'd expect...clearly they take after their father or my brother...Tonight for the book we told them they had to sit still and listen quietly to the book.  Twin B, surprisingly enough, did BEAUTIFULLY.  She sat with her head cocked to the side, very attentive and with good posture.  Twin A, on the other hand...I don't know WHERE that girl gets her stubbornness!!  It's clearly not from me!  I'm sure of it!!  It can't be me.  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  I'm not listening.  LALALALALALALALALALALALALA...

All through the book I'm trying very hard to get Twin A to listen quietly and sit still to no avail.  In exasperation at the end of the book I look at her sternly and say severely, "Clearly YOU are 'Coti-yoti!'  You have QUITE the nose for trouble."  Then I turn to Twin B and say, "You sat very nicely through the book.  Thank you."

Twin B beams with pleasure and says, "I did a GOOD job, Mommy."  Then she stands, pointing at her sister.  She mimics my look and tone and says, "But YOU, Twin A, YOU have nose trouble!!  You need to wipe it!!"

"Coti-yoti" was not the only critter howling at that point!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Some day in the (not so far) future...

     We are archaeologists, in search of the next great dig.  In our travels we happened upon a small house located in Cumming were a family has rumored to live since 2003.  In the midst of their daily lives they were suddenly engulfed in an avalanche of toys, books, baby clothes, and other such items due to an earthquake.  A very intense, highly localized tremor, it exploded over their lives in July 2009.  Those who speak of it will only whisper of the terror, "Twins...they have twins..."  Supposedly the family may very well still be living in the location, but this rumor is unverified due to the high level of sediment and paraphernalia compacted around and through the home. 

     What follows is journal entries of our dig.  Thus far we have been able to uncover and restore a garage to working order.  Not only is there actual concrete flooring, we have discovered wall space and shelving.  In fact, our careful reordering allowed us to determine that a vehicle of minivan proportions could actually fit in said garage, allowing the parents to put their children into the vehicle without incident in the event of precipitation or nosy neighbors intruding. 

June 23, 2012: We have evidence which leads us to believe the materfamilias may be on her own today, the adult male having taken the children to an undisclosed location.  Having found great success with the garage, we first chose to move on to the children's room.  We found them to be surprisingly well maintained and spared the worst of the debris, although the room of the single child was covered in a layer of tissues...used tissues, unfortunately.  Having decontaminated that room, we moved on to the bathroom shared by the children.  After careful mopping of the floor and scraping of surfaces we were surprised to learn that green and dark brown were not their natural colors.  Our successes encouraged us to move on to the laundry room.  Again, we restored flooring to its natural color.  Many interesting artifacts and hangers were recovered from behind the units that appear to be used to wash and, perhaps?  Although the amount of glitter and rhinestones makes it hard to know exactly what is cleaned in this room.  Perhaps the laundry fairy perished in here?  No evidence of a grave...

June 24, 2012:  Today we moved on to the kitchen area...the flooring appears quite similar to what was found in the laundry and bathroom.  It at first had a darker patina, indicating it might be older than other surfaces of the house.  Signs point to this being a room where the family would congregate for meal times, perhaps?  It seems likely the family is not as germ conscience as some, although it is also possible in the struggle against the aftermath of the avalanche the materfamilias is no longer quite as particular as she was once rumored to be...Careful examination and archiving of the items on the shelving indicate...a food storage unit...a pantry?  But yet, she has items that are food and cleaning related out in the garage...clearly having been nearly decimated by one natural disaster, she has determined not to face the same fate again.  Perhaps she has morphed into some sort of sale-shopping, coupon clipping creature...

June 27, 2012:  This is a most exciting day!!  Yesterday's exploration of the back porch and family room proved uneventful.  Today, however, we began searching for the long-lost master bedroom.  It is said to be right around this side of the domicile.  If we find it, it is possible we can learn more about this family!  After gridding out the room for accuracy and ease of labeling we have begun sifting through the items.  Carefully lifting clothes...gently removing toys...yes, this appears to be the post-multiples layer...By George!  I think we've done it.  Through perseverance and patience, it appears we've broken through to the pre-twins layer!!!  Oh yes, what a discovery this is!  Evidence of a single child still remains...Overwhelmed, overjoyed, and over-tired we pause to take a musical break before returning to our work. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bless your heart...

The South does have some defining characteristics, which includes a number of phrases.  My favorite is "Bless your heart."  Not "cotton-pickin' heart," just "heart."  For any Northern-ahs who might be reading this, I'll explain.  "Bless your heart" is the Southern way of indicating that someone is...ah...less that capable or...hmm...intelligent, shall we say?  It's about the nicest way of making someone feel two inches tall in a situation if used correctly and with the right Southern-belle accent.

It's Father's Day, we've finished breakfast, and it's time to shop for my DH's Father's day gift.  We regret to announce the demise of our Foreman grill after almost 10 years of faithful service.  Funeral services and announcements to follow.  So hey, let's go to Walmart to see if we can get another one!  It's Sunday.  It's Father's Day.  Oh sure, how could this be a bad idea?  In we go.  We get two baskets because the while the good people of Walmart may sell multiple items, they are unaware that people might HAVE multiple children!  We check the Foreman grill section, but alas...the one we want is ONLY sold online.  Of course, this is Walmart, and who can't use four or five...or nine...items from Walmart, even if they don't carry the actual item you needed in the first place.  I love when they ask, "Did you find everything alright?"  Seriously?  They should ask, "Did you find the one thing that brought you in in the first place, or is this just all consolation shopping?"

I go to get in line, and, of course, there are four registers open with lines at least six people deep.  The girls are having fits because they want to run and play, so my DH and I agree that he'll take the girls out to the van and I'll buy the items.  Ah yes...parenting...when standing in a ridiculously long line at Walmart all by yourself becomes a mini-vacation...

As I'm standing in line I become aware of a younger couple behind me arguing in hissed tones.  She's blond with short hair, trendy clothes, and flip flops.  He's blond with a polo, golfing shorts, and boating shoes.  He's pushing the stroller with the blond 18 month old boy who frankly couldn't care less.  She's got the cart groaning with items.  He stomps off and she stands there, debating her next move.  Clearly she's not pleased with this turn of events, especially because we all DARE to be in long lines that prevent her from being where ever she's supposed to be right now!  I hate to see people argue on holidays, but that's how life goes.  Not to mention there are some REALLY good headlines on the tabloids...really?  An alien?  Married for how long?...

She gets in line behind me, and a moment later, taps me on the shoulder.  I turn around, and she gives me her brightest smile.  It must be a very bright smile - it requires her sunglasses stay on her face to protect her vision from the glare.  "Hi," she says, "I was wondering if I could go ahead of you?  It's Father's Day, and my husband is really upset that we're ruining his plans.  It would mean so much to us if you'd just let me jump in front of you there." 

Glancing over her incredibly full buggy...and my paltry nine items, I reply, "I understand how frustrating these lines can be!  My husband took our three children out to the car to jump-start the getting out process.  To be very honest, given that I have so few items and you have so many, I'm going to have to say no.  But I'll be very quick - this cashier is moving very well." 

In shock, she stares at me, raising her sunglasses to look me fully in the eye.  Then the super-sunny smile (which causes another lowering of the sunglasses), "I know it's asking a lot, but like I said, it's Father's Day, and I just hate to cause him any stress on his special day.  Father's really deserve special consideration on a day like today..."

OK, I'm sorry, let's try this again, lady.  "Yes, they do.  I'm so blessed to have such a special man in my life who is a wonderful father to our THREE children.  I'm sorry, but I'm just going to have to say no." 

Stumped at my willful determination NOT to recognize the very special situation that she, alone, is in, she raises her sunglasses to give me a wilting stare.  Unfortunately, she's got a LOT of work to do on that stare...especially when employing it on a former high school teacher turned stay-at-home-mom.  Never been a victim of my stare?  Don't look too closely at the blog...I'm demonstrating it now.  Uh-huh...see?  Powerful.  I return to my perusal of the tabloids...Nostradamus contacted HIM?  Oh, there was a miscalculation...they really meant the world would end in 2022...unless they messed up again...

Fortunately, she's resourceful.  Turning to the gentleman in the line next to us, she lowers her sunglasses, bathes him in the radiance of that self-proclaimed brilliant smile, and says, "Excuse me, sir, but I'm not sure if you heard my predicament."  Of course he did!  Aren't you E.F. Hutton's daughter?  "It's Father's Day, and my husband just really wants to get on to his celebration.  Do you think I could hop in front of you there in line and speed up checking out?" 

The guy looks at her, shrugs, and says, "What?  You think HE'S the only father stuck in Walmart on Father's Day?  It's life.  At least it ain't the E.R."  Second degree burns!  My wife smiled at me for too long and I couldn't find the sunblock!!

Astonished at our total inability to comprehend the magnitude of her situation, the lady pulls off her sunglasses and cries, "What the hell?  Where's this Southern Hospitality I've heard so much about?!?"

Smiling, I turn back to her and exclaim, "Bless your heart!  Haven't you heard?  You're in the New South!"

Monday, March 12, 2012

The untapped potential of the hunter...

This morning I was jolted out of sleep by the sound of a loud emergency beep sound.  Stumbling into the living room I find the TV on and the required weekly test of the emergency broadcast blaring into the initially quiet house.  Yes, I was sleeping in - leave me alone.  Realizing my husband must not have turned it off before he left for work for whatever reason, I walk over to the unit and push the round button, slightly larger than the rest, to discontinue usage.  The remote control dependent may not realize this, but most electronics have this back-up fail safe somewhere on them called "POWER BUTTONS."

My DH forgets sometimes to turn off the TV in the morning.  We've talked about it, and he's asked me to mention to him when he forgets because he wants to make sure he turns it off.  I figure I can tell him when he gets home.  No biggie. 

He calls me today around lunch time to check in, and after exchanging pleasantries, he says, "Do me a favor and find the remote control, please?"  Not having had time to turn on the TV, I say, "OK..." doing a quick scan of the room.  I look on top of the coffee table, then I look AROUND the floor of the tabl-oh hey!  Look at that!  Remote on the floor! 
"Found it!" I say happily. 
"Where?" he demands. 
"On the floor in front of the coffee table near the TV..." 
"NO WAY!" he retorts, irritated.  "That's not possible!"  Ummm...and yet here it is in my hand..."I looked EVERYWHERE." 
Refraining from responding, "Well, not EVERYWHERE," I say, "It probably just fell off.  That's probably why you forgot to turn the TV off this morning.  Was it a crazy morning with the time change and all?" 
(Huffing from the other end of the line) "No, but I am telling you I looked.  I know you think I never look, but I really did.  It had to be under the table and the babies pulled it out or something..."

It's the age old issue: How do you get a man to look for something like the remote control?  His solution is to look to this left, look to the right, check the coffee table...and then yell, "Honey?  Where's the remote?"  I mean, evolutionarily speaking isn't he supposed to be the hunter?  Doesn't he kill the game and then provide for his family?  But he can't find the remote?  And then it dawned on me: he doesn't see it as wild game.  If he did, he'd always know where it was.  So that got me thinking...

What if I tied a piece of meat to the remote?  I'm not sure if jerky would work, because it's not fresh enough.  Lunch meat might have a similar issue.  So tie a piece of meat to the remote.  Can't you just picture it now?  He walks in from work, then freezes...he smells something...some animal...the vestigial parts of his brain kick into gear.  It's either prey, or a predator with a fresh he has to either kill it to feed it to his family, or protect his family from the predator...then steal the kill and use it to feed his family.  Warily, he enters the family room, looking slowly from left to right.  Instinctively crouched (and therefore slightly closer to the floor), he cautiously steps further and further into the smells like it's coming from under the couch.  Moving with great care he approaches the couch...slowly...slowly...WHAM!  He throws the couch onto it's back while simultaneously snatching his prey!  He's caught it!  Look at him!  He's providing for his family!!  He's a mighty hunter!

Trotting into the kitchen, remote dangling from his hand, he tosses it before me on the island where I'm cooking dinner.  "'Sup?" he says, casually.  "Found the remote."  Oh yes, proud of his accomplishment, he turns on his heel and heads to the bedroom to change clothes.  And a Dos Equis.  Because he may not always drink beer, but when he does...

OK, admittedly this has some flaws...some really GROSS flaws, but you have to admit, nature has already programmed him to hunt.  All I'm doing is taking what nature gave me and making it pay off!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Round and round we go!

So the day of C's birthday party with her friends dawned.  If you read my post about her actual birth-day (March 9), you can imagine my apprehension.  I felt the need to dig in and hunker down in preparation of making it through the day.  In fact, it wasn't an easy night.

I spent most of Saturday baking cupcakes.  C decided she wanted cupcakes, but she wanted them arranged in a design.  After discussing it with her, I realized she wanted the cupcakes to be arranged into a shape and have a design and message that incorporated all the cupcakes.  I was a little concerned, because unlike some of my friends, I'm no cake artist.  So I thought, what works better for a skating seventh birthday party than...a skate?  I mean, surely this wouldn't be that hard, right?  Anyone can make a boot, wheels, etc.  So I whip up a cupcake batter that comes out quite light and fluffy (if I do say so myself) and proceed to figure out how the heck I'm going to do this.  Having never used fondant, I opt for more pedestrian materials, and finally arrive at chocolate covered mini donuts for wheels and red peel-apart licorice to make the string.

We come home from Mass, and I figure I can just frost it, pop on two wheels, cut up and slap on some licorice for laces, and then write a message across it....And four hours later I'm STILL struggling with frosting.  That Cake Doctor knows cake...but she sure as shootin' ain't got NO idea about frosting quantities!  I had to remake a batch, the licorice won't cooperate.  But I wrestle it all on there, guess that's a skate?  Oh crap...I don't know.  It's vaguely skate like all sitting there together, but what the heck is that red string stuff?  Ok, turn that one, move that, put it here...Seriously?  It's 2 am?, it's 3AM...Damn you DST...I pop the cupcakes carefully into their carrier, put on the lid - What the?!?!??  After all that hard work the lid is squishing the cupcakes!  But I have no other carrier...Uncle!  Uncle!!  I'm going to bed!

It's not really 7AM already, is it?  Ugh...So I take C off to Sunday school, which goes pretty well - the kids really got into the lesson about being quiet, and they were so disappointed when we tried to get them to play a game.  "Can we just go back to being quiet," one of the more active, wilder kids asks.  I guess the Holy Spirit was at work!  Then we get home.  Now, I need to back up a bit here.  You see, while I was wrestling with frosting, DH went to bed about Midnight (no, really, midnight even by DST).  He got up at 7AM to help me with C (read to drag my sorry butt out of bed).  "Don't worry," he says, "I'll get the spaghetti sauce in the crock pot and do the dishes."  I asked him to also sweep the kitchen.  "And please don't go back to sleep," I ask.  He responds with a dismissive snort...and I walk in at 11AM to find that the sauce is made, and less than a third of the dishes are done..."You went back to sleep," j'accuse.  "Yeah...sorry."  Oh, no biggie.  We just have to make the goodie bags, clean the kitchen and family room, sweep and mop, get the balloons, pack up the supplies, keep the girls from destroying the house, find out if my family has directions...and we have a luxurious 2 hours in which to do it.  Sure, honey, why don't you put up your feet and have a coke, too.  PLENTY of time.

It took 2 1/2 hours, and a lot of bullying and browbeating, but we did it.  Ladies - a tip: be sure to whack him where the bruises don't show.  NOT THERE!  Geez!  What is it with you people?!?  Now it's off to the skating rink!  Oh goodie, us and eight hyper children between the ages of 6 - 8.  I'm oh so excited.  What the heck did I sign on for?  C has skated twice in her life, and it wasn't a happy experience either time.  The babies have NEVER skated - we're still working on the whole running without tripping thing.  Skating?  Thank goodness my parents will be there to watch the twins.  Twin A is already mutinously stomping her feet and yelling, "NO!" at every turn while Twin B just shrieks and causes pandemonium.  Did you read about my week?  I'm pretty tense and worried.

As we are pulling in the lot, it dawns on me that I never asked the parents if they were staying or going.  So either I don't have enough plates and pizza ordered, or I have far too many and no where near enough sleep for this venture...I admit it, I might have been turning the foothills into the Andes Mountains.  It could have been a possibility.  But hey, I was tired and my week was very stressful up to that point!

We get there at 2pm to pay and get in a bit of skating before C's friends arrive at 2:30.  I haven't been on skates in years.  I used to be pretty good - in elementary school we went almost weekly, and through middle school I learned how to crossover when skating around the corner, flip around and skate backwards, jump the little kids who splatted right in front of you, etc.  These days...I was just going for upright without busting hard onto my a$$ in front of a roomful of small children.  Not that I don't have enough padding, mind you, just that I was more worried about bruising my ego.  Nothing fancy, but I was able to make left hand turns...OOH!  I could drive for Nascar!  Sorry, I digress.  I got 15 minutes or so of skating in...I have the aching soreness of unused muscles to prove it!  C was skating by means of hauling herself around on the wall.  "Look, mommy, I'm skating!" she shouted joyfully as hand over hand she inched her way around the rink.  "Yes, honey," I reply weakly, praying her friends don't leave her in the dust.

One by one her friends arrive.  Two little girls from her class at school, some children from Sunday School, two little boys from her bus stop, and one surprise blast from the past from her PreK class.  She was THRILLED!  Let me just say, I was a fool to worry.  First of all, almost all of the parents stayed, excited to see their kids on skates for the first or almost first time.  C turned out to be one of the better skaters, and she got so much better each revolution.  She was actually moving her feet in a near-fluid movement around the rink!  Until one foot went forward, one went right, and down she goes!  We also got very good at the "flip onto your KNEES and get up" trick.  Two little girls were down-right speed demons.  One little girl was desperately attempting to master the hand over hand wall inch, but let me tell you, these kids had a BLAST.  These have to be some of the nicest, sweetest kids I've EVER met!  I love every one of the kids individually, but as a group, they were just as wonderful.  They worked together, they took turns, they said please and thank you...apparently having Venus and Jupiter showing so brightly in the night sky means the planets are really aligned in their houses!

And the parents!  Almost all stayed, and they were WONDERFUL.  Every single one pitched in, offered to help, gushed over my squished but semi-obvious skate cupcake rendering...You should have seen C.  "Mommy, what is it?" she asks, puzzled.  I take a deep breath, disappointed in my efforts.  "Well, see the red stuff?  See it's tied in a bow at the top...and look at the bottom, there's two brown wheel-shaped donuts," I reply, hoping to lead her to the answer.  "Yeah, why only two?  I wanted more donuts," she says, still baffled by the aquamarine mass before her.  "Uh...check out the shape.  Do you notice anything about the shape?"  She and the little girl next to her crinkle their noses in serious concentration.  "Well," her friend says, "it's kind of boot shaped."  YAY!  Come on...come on...don't crush me totally here..."Yes," I say hopefully, "and there's a bow tied at the top, and laces coming down, and two brown-" "OH MY GOD IT'S A SKATE!!!!!" the two girls scream joyfully at each other.  C turns to the other kids.  "My mom made the coolest skate!" she gushes.  WHOOHOOO!!  Thank goodness her imagination is better than my artistic abilities!

Well, it all turned out alright.  The kids had a great time.  Speaking of great time - Twin B put on this pair of Barbie skates that go over the shoe for little kids at about 2:15.  She went EVERYWHERE!  She skated all over the carpet, and then demanded to be taken out on the roller rink.  You had to hold both hands and sort of drag her along, but she LOVED it!  Apparently we have a skater in our midst.  At 4:45 I was alerted to her leaving the skating rink when I heard angry screeching of a bird of prey losing its squirrel...oh boy, she was M-A-A-A-A-D about having to take off her skates.  I think she thought she could wear them forever...Twin A?  Oh, that poor little one was thoroughly overwhelmed by the noise, the kids, skating, you name it.  But she perked right up after that cupcake and zoomed all over the place...until the inevitable sugar crash and melodramatic temper tantrum that came with it.  Surprisingly they lasted until 9:00 tonight.  I'm praying for them to sleep in tomorrow!  We all agreed that skating is so much fun, and something we all need to do more often!

I had SO MUCH FUN with the moms and the kids.  I even entered a skating race.  I wasn't going to, but all the kids at her party stood there begging me.  "Come on - you'll be so cool!" one girl said.  Seriously?  Like I could pass up that opportunity.  In an effort to teach good sportsmanship I chose to allow my other competitors to totally kick my a$$...but I'm STILL COOL! 

Stay tuned - we're letting C get her ears pierced for her gift.  I'm sure that will produce serious drama!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Beware the 9th of March...

My first child was born on March 9.  She was expected on March 19, and we were secretly hoping for March 17, but my body just wouldn't take being pregnant a moment longer.  Which is odd, considering how much I enjoyed being pregnant the first time.  It was just the two of us, and she was like a special secret that only I got to share and nurture.  Not that Daddy wasn't around or very excited, too, it's just...with the first child and the first pregnancy, it often is hard for the baby to become real for the husband until AFTER the child arrives.  However, when someone is using your bladder as a trampoline, it's a lot easier for you to find it real.  Pregnancy is a time of potential and hopefulness, and I did enjoy it.  I was very upset to be induced 10 days early due to pre-eclampsia, but pretty excited, too.  I would finally meet the newest love of my life, my first child. 

Fast forward to her seventh birthday.  Seven years.  SEVEN.  It's so hard to believe that the tiny baby I adored and snuggled is now over two-thirds my height!  She's tall, slender, with dark blonde hair and such beautiful hazel eyes.  She's funny, sassy, obnoxious, smart as a whip, sweet, infuriating, and wonderful.  She loves her little sisters deeply and takes good care of them.  She's a constant challenge, asking questions about the nature of life, love, God, sex, and everything in between!  So as much as she drives me insane, she also brings such joy and richness to my life.  It's natural, then, that I'd want to really celebrate her birthday! 

I show up at her school today at 11:40 for lunch.  I brought frosted sugar cookies and two-bite cupcakes.  Why?  Because someone in there has a peanut allergy, but can eat frosted cookies, and someone else has a gelatin allergy, but can eat cupcakes, and another has an egg-white allergy...I'm not knocking allergies - my kids are fairly dairy free.  But it just doesn't seem like it was so complicated when I was a kid!  However, the operative there being that I was the kid, so how would I know?  I get there to find out they are eating in their rooms because of class pictures taking over the cafeteria.  21 hyper, excited kids anticipating a glorious treat and sugar high crammed into their classroom.  Now C's teacher and student teacher are WONDERFUL women, but they are no match for the awesome power of twin toddlers!  I don't think there was a kid in there who didn't get a hug and kiss from Twin B.  Twin A was slightly more selective...not snobby, just selective...OK, so she didn't want to kiss or hug some of the boys.  That's not such a bad thing.  In fact, now that I think about it I'm a little worried about Twin B...They put on a Magic School Bus video - it was hard for me to watch the girls, because I wanted to watch the video!  They kept wanting to sit with my mom in the rocking chair, which meant they kept blocking some of the screen.  And the kids (especially the little girls) kept sneaking up to the front to steal hugs from the twins...and the girls kept pitching fits over who got to sit in C's lap..."Whisper sweetie.  Yes, I know it's hard to shriek in a whisper, but just try it for mommy, anyways, pllleeeaaase?!?!?!?" 

Finally the video is over, and a hush and rush of anticipation falls over the classroom.  "Boys and girls, we have a special treat brought in by C's mommy today."  WHOOOSH!  That was the sound of the children shooting up to the front table to claim their treat.  AAAAWWWWW!!  That was the sound of the teacher denying said children and sending them back to their desks until they complete the ritual of singing BEFORE cramming.  In all seriousness, they behaved very well, said please and thank you, waited patiently until everyone had a treat, and ate with pretty good manners.  One little boy, who had asked me repeatedly if there would be cookies, came up and said, "Thank you.  I got a cookie, but it's in here now (pointing to stomach).  It will be here later (pointing to bottom)."  Er,'re...welcome?  I do like the kids in C's class.  They are very sweet, and a number of them came up specially to thank me very sincerely both for bringing in the cookies and the twins.  It was a very stressful time trying to manage everything, but a lot of fun, too. 

We dash out, mom heads home for a break, and I take the girls to the Dollar Barn for needed birthday supplies.  Yes, I bought things at the Dollar Barn.  Deal with it.  Good prices, nice selection...and the TINIEST aisles and shopping carts ever!  I can't get a side-by-side or tandem stroller in, the leashes are useless because they practically stretch from the front door to the I put one in the front seat of the tiny shopping cart and one in the back, and grab a hand basket for my purchases.  Talk about an excruciating hour of my life!

So where to go for dinner?  After much debate, she settles on Mellow the Avenues...on a Friday night.  Oh my...ok, are you sure honey?  Yes, yes it must be Mellow Mushroom.  So my husband had to come home early Thursday (he was asked to be home at 5:30 - he shows up at 4:30 "just to be sure"), and he feels he cannot take off early two days in a row.  Please?  Pretty please?  It's Mellow Mushroom...on a Friday...The agreed upon time becomes 5:45.  Oh have mercy...We'll make this work!

So we get there and find a HUGE line awaiting us.  My DH, who got there a few minutes before us, informs us that there is a 40 minute wait.  So Gapa, DH, and I take the girls to B&N to poke around while Gama hangs out and waits for the table.  Whereupon we start discussing how we could have made our lives MUCH easier (ordering take-out pizza, going earlier to get a table and letting DH catch up, etc.), but of course, hindsight is always 20-20, so it's not helpful now.  Twin B found the rack of stuffed puppets (squirrels, frogs, etc.)  It was amazing!  She couldn't stay away, but they totally freaked her out!  She'd run over, ask to hug one, and then scream in fear as it came towards her.  Wes Craven fan, anyone?  Mimi pulled every book she could find off the shelf.  I couldn't even begin to keep up with her.  C informs us, "I REALLY want the Guinness Book of World Records."  (Quick, honey, I'll watch the kids, you go buy the, I did not say go buy it AND poke around in the computer section, which is on the OTHER side of the store, meaning you didn't just "happen to go by it.")  We poke around and then go back after 35 minutes to wait for our the world's smallest waiting area with two young children who absolutely REFUSE to sit in the seats that would keep them out from underfoot...

...35 minutes later, we realize it's just not going to happen, and decide to order take out.  "Do you want to stay and wait for the pizza?" DH asks, "I'll take the kids home."  "No, you hang out..." I say...oh why, why, WHY did I say that?  I could have sat in the crowded craziness of Mellow Mushroom with my Dad for company.  No, I choose to go with my Mom and THREE cranky, hungry, frustrated little girls.  Well, to be fair - two cranky, hungry, whiny toddlers and a crazy, birthday-hyped, hungry, insane seven year old.  We decide to run by Publix to pick up a veggie tray (C LOVES those), and Gama, in the true fashion of mothers everywhere, throws herself on the grenade, shouting, "Do you want me to stay in the car with the girls while you run in to get the food?" over the wailing and whining coming from the back...Oh yes, how I love my mother. 

One veggie tray, bogo graham crackers (car snacks), and a pink birthday balloon later we dash back out and get the kids back to the house.  By now the children are slightly mollified by the graham crackers and C is literally bouncing off every piece of furniture in the house.  She gets pizza, a balloon, and a CARPET PICNIC, meaning we eat on the floor of the family room while watching a movie.  She chose Tangled, which is easily my new favorite film.  It truly it has it all!  "Frying pans!  I know - who knew?"  I give each girl a tray with some veggies and some "white dip" (ranch).  By the time my Dad and DH get home, I discover that once again, tonight is about learning lessons...namely, if you don't want white dip all over your clothes, your children's clothes, the carpet, the blankets covering the carpet, your mother, and various other pieces of furniture, do not give it to hyper, cranky, fussy toddlers who simply cannot sit still because they never took a nap.  There.  You can now say you've received your life lesson for the day.  What's that you say?  I should know better by now?  Honestly, not really - the more I'm around the twins, the more I realize what an exceptionally well-behaved child C was as a toddler, and how lucky we were.  The doctor swears the twins act more like what normal toddlers act like...

So three outfits, almost all of the tomatoes, and most of my nerves later, the pizza arrives.  I will say that Mellow Mushroom makes some seriously good pizza.  At first all is well, eating pizza in the family room while watching Tangled...until the twins take the volume of the TV as a personal challenge and begin talking OVER it.  They wanted to sit in my lap...then Gama's lap...then Gapa's lap...then one goes to Daddy and one to Mommy...apparently we'd eaten enough and it was time for some sort of wild toddler-rule driven game of musical laps!  So quick, let's do cupcakes and gifts!  Did you know that you could REALLY stretch out opening your gifts?  You can take nearly 7 minutes to unwrap a lightly wrapped book.  I know, because I personally witnessed it!  JUST RIP THE DA*& PAPER KID!!!  I remember my parents saying that to me when I was younger...oh hush, I know, turn about is fair play and all that. 

The twins go down about 10:30, with C dragging her feet and reluctantly following at 11pm.  At 11:31 I started drafting this blog entry, and I see it's 11:58.  There were a lot of rewrites.  It is impossible to truly capture this day.  We asked C anxiously if she enjoyed her birthday.  She said, "I sure did!  I got lunch with my family, everyone loves my sisters, I got to read in B&N, I got to have pizza on the carpet and cupcakes right afterwards without having to drive home, I got Tangled..."  The list just continued.  Thank goodness she sees nothing but the positive.  I was so angry, stressed, frustrated, and tense trying to make the perfect birthday.  I see screw-ups everywhere, and she sees nothing but fun and adventure.  Yes, I know there's a lesson there.  It's 12AM.  I'd rather sleep than pontificate ;-) 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Unabashed plea for sympathy

So if nothing else, you can't claim there is no truth in advertising today.  I had a really crappy day, and I feel like whining for sympathy.  The requirement for reading this is to leave a note telling me how picked on I am and how much you love me ;-)  You are to keep all comments on just how pathetic and ridiculous I am to yourself!   

My twins are teething, and sleep has been a ridiculously precious commodity.  Last night I crashed at 11:30 with the intentions of getting up at 8:30 if it killed me.  I know, you are already thinking, "Waah, waah, waah."  It gets worse.  Instead of getting 8 or 9 hours of interrupted sleep, I got 10 whole hours of straight, unadulterated sleep.  No - this isn't where I want the sympathy.  Stop mocking me and keep reading!   It's 10am and I hear the babies making noise ('cause they aren't sure what to do with all this sleep, either.  I'm hoping it will become addicting and they'll form a habit!).  I have a hang-over like feeling from too much sleep (not that I really know what those are...).  I groggily decide to make a cup of coffee, have breakfast, shower, and get the kids up.  I'm on the way to the kitchen when the doorbell rings.  Really?  I'm in my PJ pants and a ratty shirt with slippers, and my hair is standing up on end (some of you can more fully appreciate that picture than others).  I think, "Please be a package."  There's an arm at the window by the front door. I toss on a sweatshirt and open the door.

It's my down the street neighbor, who is in her 80s.  She gives me that startled, shocked look older people do so well when your generation fails to live up to their standards.  I manage a weak smile and say, "Hi, what's up?"  She starts rambling out a story about how her phone will receive calls but not make them.  I keep inviting her inside, but she just stands on the cold, cold step wandering through this story.  Finally, just as I'm ready to shriek, "WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?!?" she says, "Can I come in and borrow your phone to call AT&T."  I'm relieved that this is all she wants, because honestly I'm not ready for real life yet.  I invite her in (this time she accepts), and go to grab my phone.  I turn back to see the same look of distaste as she surveys my living room, which looks like nuclear winter after a toy store...

My neighbor, Jane, is a very nice lady.  She's helped us with watching my cat, and I even borrowed a cup of sugar from her once (I felt so domestic - when do you ever hear of people borrowing a cup of sugar anymore?).  I was very glad to be able to lend her a hand.  She tries to dial, but she has a fake lense from where a cataract was removed, and after a moment I realized she couldn't see.  I dialed AT&T, but she kept getting everything in Spanish.  *Sigh*  The coffee will have to wait.  Mournfully I take the phone and call.  Lo and behold, if you DON'T press one it stays in ENGLISH.  Long story short (yeah, I know, I know) I manage to jump through their hoops but she can't get a tech until WEDNESDAY.  This is her only phone - she doesn't have a cell phone.  Not feeling good about this, I call back, and this time manage to wrangle an actual human.  I explain that she is older ("Older - hell, I'm in my 80s" she retorts), this is her only phone, AND the $85 service charge for fixing something that is wrong on THEIR end doesn't seem fair, so could they lower the price some.  Basically I end up in a phone conversation that we'd all agree can only happen to me.  The guy says, "Well, since she came to your house for help, couldn't she just move in with you until her phone is fixed?"  Ummmmm....I'm sorry?  What?!? 

I didn't yell - you'd be proud - but I was distinctly...erm...frustrated.  I replied in the negative, and then he said, "Well, why don't we just sell her a cell phone plan."  OK...fixed her 80s...really, what's not to get here?  More importantly, how does THAT fix the problem of her home phone?  So I demand a manager.  I get this lady who STARTS the conversation with, "Ma'am, I understand you are upset and have an issue you want to resolve, but you cannot abuse my staff like this, so let's watch your tone when talking to us."  !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?  "Ma'am, I'm not abusing anyone, but when your staff's best suggestion for resolving a problem is having a neighbor move into my house or buy a cell phone despite her very limited monthly budget, I think you can agree that I might have a right to be frustrated."  This said in a firm but not ugly tone.  She says, "I agree that might not be the best of solutions, but it's not appropriate for you to yell at me."  Oh honey...when I start me, you'll know...I demand HER supervisor, she tells me she doesn't have one, I ask if she owns AT&T, she says "no" in a puzzled tone, I demand her supervisor again, she insists she has to resolve this, I ask if this call is being recorded, she says "yes, more than likely," I say, "GOOD!  Use it as a training call on how NOT to attempt to resolve issues!  You've failed!  GIVE ME YOUR SUPERVISOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

She gives me her supervisor.  He listens to my semi-annoyed but polite retelling of the story, agrees to have a tech out tomorrow morning, agrees to give Jane a $20 credit for her troubles, agrees to waive the service fee, and says, "I have no CLUE why my people said those things, but you can guarantee there will be action on this!"  Really?  It took less than 5 minutes for his help.  Jane thinks I'm insane because I finally DID start yelling, the babies are wailing in their bedroom, C is hovering around the doorway looking concerned, and I'm VERY annoyed!!! Caffeine.  Please, oh please, caffeine... But fortunately, I can have a cup of coffee in peace now, right? 


Jane leaves.  I get my coffee and plunk down on the couch to eat my cereal and decide our day.  C creeps into the family room and begins hopping from foot to foot waiting for my attention.  "Yes, honey," I sigh, "What can I do for you?"  "Nothing, I just want to be near you."  She practically wormed into my lap, gave a penetrating look to my cereal bowl, and said, "What's that, mommy?"  For those of you who don't know, this is a prelude to her attempting to eat what's in my bowl, have another bowl of it, and then get me to cook her some more breakfast.  This is my semi-expensive but doctor approved cereal which tastes like freaking cardboard but apparently must be really good because it's MINE.  So I said, "You have already eaten breakfast, go clean your room and change clothes."  Her eye-rolling, harrumphing, foot-stomping response told me I may not survive the teenage years.  She's six.  Don't I have four or five years before this becomes a reality? 

OK...moving on.  I got the babies up, fed them, showered, and decided, "Hey, let's go to North Point Mall to ride the carousel, have some pretzels, and play in the soft play area.  It will be cheap, fun, and let the girls get some energy out."  Yes, I knew it would be crowded and hectic, but I also knew it would be a real treat, and I might get something done when I got home while the girls crashed.  But it was like they were doing their level best to punish me for trying to do something nice!  I get the twins going the right direction, and C disappears.  I find her (it's a three bedroom ranch - to where does she disappear?), and now - what the heck are the twins doing?  B, where ARE your pants?  A - put your shoes back on!  C - OMG, where did that girl go again?!?

Finally I get them out the door, cursing my stupidity, to the mall, pause for a couple of minutes at the pressure-sensitive screen, and DRAG them bodily to the mall office where I find out....they no longer sell the $1 carousel coupons.  It...I...uh...wha????  I'm not happy.  I have $10.  My day is timed out and based on this $10 which is to get us 3 coupons, pretzels, and a bottle of water.  The Mall is denying my children their treat (yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm cheap!  Deal with it).  When I was a DINK, I never gave any thought to the carousel costing 2 bucks a pop.  As a DIOK (I'll pause while you work it out...) it still seemed like a bargain.  As a SITK (makes me sounds like I've changed religions) I am very cheap!  Amazingly enough, I don't coupon very well primarily due to not being able to keep up with them, but if I can find a bargain I will!  Now I have to choose between the carousel and the pretzel nuggets...and realize the pretzel nuggets ultimately have to win here...oh crap, I have to tell my kids.  I filed a complaint in which I pointed out that to avoid the carousel I have to avoid the food court, so the merchants lose, too...feel free to go to the North Point Mall office and file a complaint, too.

I go out the door and look into the horrified eyes of my children.  Horsey?  Elephant?  Mommy wouldn't REALLY deny us our favorite past time, would she?  What will Ostrich do if the twins aren't there to ride her?  My eldest timidly asks, "Are we going to ride the carousel?"  The twins' eyes widen, breath held as they await my answer.  "Well, honey," I reply, "I can't afford the carousel AND pretzels."  "Oh that's OK!" she quickly exclaims, "We don't need to eat."  Ummm, yeah, speak for yourself...and remember that AFTER the ride.  I look at their hopeful faces, reevaluate my initial decision, and realize...yeah, they do need to eat, and ultimately these pretzels will bring a LOT more happiness.  "NOOOOOOO!" twin A wails, falling prostrate as she realizes her beloved frog-with-a-duck-on-his-butt must forgo her visit today.  "AAAAAAAGH!" twin B shouts, plopping to the ground in abject misery as she imagines her beloved horsey perishing from lack of a visit...Sweet C, who has up to this point gone out of her way to drive me completely insane today, looks at me, lower lip trembling, and says, "OK, Mommy, we understand.  It's OK."  Ohhhhh...that was the sound of my heart-strings being plucked...but I can't give in, even if I want to, because I can't let them think begging - oh, not the

Dragging the twins BACK through the mall, we head to the Auntie Anne's pretzel store by the soft play area.  Can I salvage ANY of this day at this point?  I ask the girls to sit on the triangular tile around the three-columned supports.  I turn back to see their heart broken faces - uh...oh, apparently we've forgotten our greek tragedy already.  Pretzels come and are devoured, and we go to play.  Oh joy!  All is right with the world.  I found advil and caffeine to quell the headache rising (you can buy a lot more with $10 than with $7), I found a table to sit at, and the girls are playing.  For 20 blissful minutes I can sit, rest, and enjoy my kids...and then the twins are asking to leave and I'm trying NOT to strangle my 6 year old who is having a meltdown at having to leave the two little girls she's just met for the first time but she's SURE are her life-long BFFs!  I drag them back to the car, lock everyone into place, and spend 25 minutes in one of the most ANNOYING drives home I've had in ages.  Oh please oh please oh please oh please...let me get them home in one piece so I can put the twins down for a nap, install C in her room with the portable DVD player, and FINALLY find some peace in my day!!!!!!

We get home and I tell the girls "GO IN THE HOUSE RIGHT NOW!"  They stand outside the van looking at each other and not moving.  I turn back.  "What exactly does RIGHT NOW mean to you?" I ask C.  Apparently not much...She slowly starts shuffling towards the house, the twins in her wake.  I'm digging around in the back to get cups, coats, etc. out of the car.  I realize the girls are STILL on the driveway by the car, only 3 feet closer to the house.  I pull my head back to chew them out - POW!!!!  Slam the back of my head on the door...handle...thingy...where you hang your dry cleaning - you know - that...thing.  All I want to do is scream every curse word I know and beat up the seat.  How the heck could I do something so STUPID?!?!?  But I can't.  Why?  The girls are STILL STANDING ON THE DRIVEWAY and little pitchers...big ears...ow ow owowowowowowow..."GO IN THE HOUSE!"  I growl.  They are off like shots.   I get in the house, knowing I'm going to have a HUGE bump on the back of my head, and I think, "All I want right now is my MOMMY!"  She's in Vegas, and I'm on my own.

I put the twins in their room and the phone rings.  I am doomed to a life of not being able to have ANYTHING go my way...I go to answer it...It's my mom.  She is calling from Vegas.  She says, "I just had this feeling I really needed to call you right now."  I love my mommy!!  We spent over an hour on the phone.  She assures me I'm a good mommy and a good girl, and that I have, indeed, had quite the rough day.  It was a mental kiss on the forehead and a long-distance hug.  It felt really good.  While she and my dad talk to the girls, I can change clothes, grab a drink, and breath.  I have such awesome parents.  Even long-distance they can babysit my kids for a moment and give me a break. 

*Sniffle, sniffle*  *Whine*  OK, go ahead - tell me how picked on I am!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Medicine comes in all forms

We went to Publix today to get medication for one of my daughters.  Twin A really seems to have this thing for chest colds.  Takes after her mommy, I guess.  So I'm waiting to drop off my prescription, and I see this lady pull away from the pharmacy counter with baby in her cart.  She looks familiar.  I turn back to the tech at the window, but my brain is still trying to place this woman.  Then it hits me...

Last year about this time (because the twins have a thing for getting colds for Christmas) I was at this very same pharmacy picking up...probably the EXACT same medications, knowing twin A...I had all three girls with me.  I go to pick up said medications, but the pharmacy is very busy, so we have to stand in line.  The lady behind me is pregnant and glowing...probably having one of those pregnancies where she never got sick...I've read of those, never experienced it.  She's humming and rubbing her belly until she notices my children.  She starts out with the usual, "Twins?"  We go through the normal exchange, including that our twins are spontaneous and not IVF, and then she says, "Three girls, huh?  Are you going to try for a boy?"

Our standard response to this question is, "The first time we had one, the second time we had two...we DON'T WANT to know what happens the third time!"  Most people laugh and back off.  But my pregnant friend is clearly basking in the glow of creation, and feels it's her duty to propagate this joyous experience to the world.  "Oh, come on!" she says, "Wouldn't triplets be fun?"  Yeah, so's an unnecessary root canal...not saying triplets couldn't be fun (don't beat me, multiple mommy friends), but I already have the three, and my sanity hangs by tatters as is..."I just love being pregnant," she gushes.  "I think having multiples would just be even MORE fun!" 

I don't want to burst here, but before I can respond, the gentleman standing behind her says, "You know, she's right - once you have multiples spontaneously, your chances for having multiples again goes up dramatically, especially if you are 35 or older."  Sadly, I was only 34 at the time, but it's probably hard to tell the difference between 34 and 35 when someone looks very tired, so I can forgive him..."I say always quit when you are ahead!" he finishes. 

Pregnant woman pauses for a moment, studying me.  Get ready, folks..."Yeah, I guess if you are in your 40s..."  Ummmm, excuse me, sweetie?  He said 35, thank you very much.  Ooooh, it's a good thing you are pregnant and therefore not in your right mind..."But still," she continues, enthusiasm returning, "I have a friend who had twins the first time, but she had one kid the second time."  Yes, note the number of children there...2 plus 1...I'll wait...

The Gentleman chuckles, then says, "Trust me, it can happen."

Our little Pregnant friend: "Yeah, whatever.  You should definitely try again.  Seriously!!  You should just go for it!!"  What, here?  Now?  Should I just grab some random guy?  Can I at least go home and get my DH first?  Sorry, honey, peer pressure...

The Gentleman snorts, and says, "Oh, OK, well since you're the expert, she should just listen to you."  I would not say such things if I were you...

SFX: *Click*  And that was the sound of the switch that turns sweet little pregnant women into the raging hormonal beast...  Rounding on him, she explodes, "What the hell would you know, huh?  You're so smart!"  She continues chewing him out for a moment, then, rage subsiding, spits out,  "He's an idiot.  What the hell would he know?" 

Gentleman is taken aback, but recovers and smiles. ain't over, folks...He pulls out his wallet and says, "Here's a picture of my first grandchild."  Flipping the wallet pics slowly, he says, "Oh, and here's a picture of my second and third grandchildren, the twins."  He looks in this woman's face and smiles VERY broadly, then says, "And here is a picture of my FOURTH and FIFTH grandchildren, the other set of twins."  Then he looks over at me and says, "Both sets are identicals."  What was that whooshing sound?  I believe that was the sound of my tubes tying themselves...

The Pregnant lady looks at the kids, then says, "Yeah, but how many kids do you have?" 
Gentleman: "One." 
Pregnant lady: "...Oh..."

Nonplussed, Pregnant lady pauses and considers her argument, then turns back to me.  She snorts derisively, then says with considerably less confidence, "Well, so what.  Don't let one moron ruin your decision."  Thank you so much for your permission.  I wasn't sure what to do, but now that I know I'm ALLOWED...The Pharmacist called her first - I think she wanted to just get her out of there. 

Flashback to the present.  The lady looked tired and considerably less chipper.  A sick child (or just being sick) will do that to you.  I said a quick mental prayer for her - hopefully she's doing well and so is her child. Sometimes babies really fight you when it comes to taking medication.  Just remember "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!"